Reviews for Hanukkah Bear
Booklist Reviews 2013 October #2
Elderly Bubba Brayna doesn't see or hear very well, but she can still make delicious latkes for Hanukkah. This year she has invited the rabbi to dinner, but the wonderful aromas awaken a very hungry Old Bear, who arrives first. Young listeners will chortle as Bubba mistakes her ursine guest for the rabbi. She attempts to remove his coat, insists he recite the blessings, beats him at a game of dreidel, and finally feeds him latkes with jam. This updated version of The Chanukkah Guest (1990) features revised text and all-new illustrations by Wohnoutka. His cartoon-style acrylics exude comfort and make effective use of warm browns and golds. Concluding with a recipe for latkes and a note about Hanukkah customs, this makes a good addition to the holiday shelf, especially for libraries needing to replace the earlier edition. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
In this revised, newly illustrated edition of The Chanukkah Guest, ninety-seven-year-old Bubba Brayna is known for her delicious latkes but not for her eagle eyes or keen hearing. When a hungry bear stumbles into her home, she mistakes it for the rabbi and treats it like an honored guest. The silly folkloric setup plays out well in the vivacious acrylic illustrations. Latke recipe appended.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #6
This new edition of The Chanukkah Guest (Holiday, 1990), with different illustrations and revised text, stars "a very clever bear," "a very foolish Bubba Brayna"…and a very confused rabbi. Ninety-seven-year-old Bubba Brayna, known far and wide for her delicious latkes (but not for her eagle eyes or keen hearing), is expecting the rabbi for dinner. When a hungry latke-seeking bear stumbles into her home, she mistakes the creature for the rabbi and treats it like an honored guest (Bubba Brayna: "I'll light the candles. Will you say the blessings?" Bear: "Rrrumph"). The silliness of the folkloric setup plays out well in the vivacious acrylic illustrations with nary a rough edge in sight. A latke recipe is appended. elissa gershowit Copyright 2013 Horn Book Magazine.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 September #1
A well-used trope of misidentification allows a village elder to innocently open her home to a possible predator with humorous, even endearing results. Despite her advanced age of 97 and her poor eyesight and hearing, Bubba Brayna "still [makes] the best potato latkes in the village." When Old Bear is awakened from his winter sleep by the savory aroma of frying latkes and comes to her door, Bubba Brayna invites him in for a fresh batch, mistaking the bear's rotund girth and bushy face for the heavy-set bearded rabbi's. Heading straight for the kitchen, the growling bear is encouraged to play dreidel with nuts he chooses to eat, then devours all the latkes with jam like any hungry bear would. Sleepy and satisfied, he leaves with a gift of a red woolen scarf around his neck. After some investigating by the crowd that has gathered at Bubba Brayna's door, which includes the actual rabbi, a new batch of potatoes are brought from the cellar, and with everyone's help, Bubba Brayna hosts a happy Hanukkah. This newly illustrated version of The Chanukkah Guest, illustrated by Giora Carmi (1990), is a softer rendition, with acrylic paints and curved lines in tints of yellow, brown and green for warm, earthy atmosphere. The now-classic tale's humor still fosters eye-rolling laughter, with Wohnoutka's illustrations as rib-tickling complement. (Picture book. 4-6) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 September #3
Kimmel (Little Red Hot) revises a story previously published in Cricket magazine and as a 1990 picture book, The Hanukkah Guest, with cheerful new acrylic illustrations from Wohnoutka (Just Like My Papa). The story follows 97-year-old Bubba Brayna as she hosts her rabbi for a Hanukkah meal. With her failing eyesight and poor hearing, Bubba Brayna doesn't realize that a hungry bear, not the rabbi, has appeared at her doorstep, clamoring for fresh latkes. They light the menorah, say the blessings, and indulge in traditional Hanukkah fare. Bubba's remarkable patience as she puts up with the none-too-scary bear's gruffness will amuse readers as they prepare for their own Hanukkah celebrations. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 October
PreS-Gr 1--Kimmel has pared down his The Chanukkah Guest (Holiday House, 1990) to create this new, reillustrated version for younger readers. Though a bit of the rich language is gone from this much-loved story about 97-year-old Bubba Brayna mistaking a latke-seeking bear for her rabbi, the essence and the humor remain. Bubba Brayna still tries to take the bear's coat, interprets his "grrrowwws" and "rrrrumphs" as the blessing over the Hanukkah candles, and wipes the jam from his "beard" after he finishes his meal. The book was originally illustrated by Giora Carmi; the new acrylic paintings by Wohnoutka have a warm, mirthful quality. Petite Bubba Brayna is rosy and welcoming toward the large honey brown bear, who is more endearing than menacing. Large textured brushstrokes make the snow on Bubba Brayna's roof look like frosting, while inside her cozy house everything has a golden glow. Successful on every level, this holiday favorite is sure to be popular with anyone who appreciates a little humor with their holidays.--Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library [Page 71]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.